Penn State Slays Late Game Demons Against Washington
Penn State fans know the story far too well. Penn State has a lead late in the game and is trying to hold off their opponent that is coming back. They have the ball, with the lead, and either a few first downs or a score seals a victory for them.
In previous games, against USC, Ohio State, and Michigan State, Penn State withered on both sides of the ball. The offense was unable to move the ball, either playing to conservatively, or simply unable to execute. The defense would become porous and worn out. Penn State’s opponent would earn a stop, then eventually take control of the game.
But not today.
Today, the offense drove down the field with only a seven point lead, burning six minutes off the clock and forcing Washington to burn their timeouts. Even with the missed field goal, the offense left but a fool’s chance for Jake Browning and the surging Huskies. The defense took the field and shut the door and sealed Penn State’s 35-28 win in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
Penn State was finally able to slay their demons in close, competitive games. They had jumped out to large leads before and collapsed, but these players and coaches, continue to grow and they finally put it all together when it mattered most. This team had to overcome the one obstacle that had tripped them up so many times before. They finally did.
This team has gone 20-3 since October of 2016; the three losses have come by a combined margin of seven points. Penn State is set to sign a top five recruiting class in February.
Head coach James Franklin has resurrected this program to national relevance and you can add finishing close games to his resume.